Investors Purchase Large Volume of Call Options on Acuity Brands (AYI)

Acuity Brands, Inc. (NYSE:AYI) was the target of unusually large options trading on Tuesday. Stock traders acquired 490 call options on the company. This is an increase of 745% compared to the typical daily volume of 58 call options.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Stephens Inc. AR lifted its stake in Acuity Brands by 2.4% during the fourth quarter. Stephens Inc. AR now owns 3,526 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $405,000 after purchasing an additional 84 shares during the period. Slow Capital Inc. lifted its stake in Acuity Brands by 3.8% during the fourth quarter. Slow Capital Inc. now owns 2,705 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $311,000 after purchasing an additional 99 shares during the period. Commonwealth Bank of Australia lifted its stake in Acuity Brands by 29.2% during the fourth quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 442 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $50,000 after purchasing an additional 100 shares during the period. IFM Investors Pty Ltd lifted its stake in Acuity Brands by 6.0% during the fourth quarter. IFM Investors Pty Ltd now owns 2,307 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $265,000 after purchasing an additional 130 shares during the period. Finally, Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank lifted its stake in Acuity Brands by 1.3% during the fourth quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 9,894 shares of the electronics maker’s stock worth $1,137,000 after purchasing an additional 130 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 92.61% of the company’s stock.

Shares of AYI opened at $123.02 on Thursday. The stock has a market cap of $5.07 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.97, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.41 and a beta of 1.56. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.20, a current ratio of 1.92 and a quick ratio of 1.28. Acuity Brands has a 12 month low of $103.48 and a 12 month high of $173.01.

Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, January 9th. The electronics maker reported $2.32 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.02 by $0.30. The firm had revenue of $932.60 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $920.39 million. Acuity Brands had a net margin of 9.49% and a return on equity of 20.88%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 10.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.94 earnings per share. As a group, sell-side analysts anticipate that Acuity Brands will post 8.83 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

AYI has been the topic of a number of recent research reports. Wells Fargo & Co decreased their target price on Acuity Brands from $161.00 to $159.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, January 2nd. Credit Suisse Group raised Acuity Brands from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and lifted their target price for the stock from $128.00 to $148.00 in a research report on Wednesday, March 6th. Roth Capital set a $150.00 target price on Acuity Brands and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, December 20th. Zacks Investment Research raised Acuity Brands from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, January 14th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group raised Acuity Brands from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the stock. Acuity Brands has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $151.67.

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Acuity Brands Company Profile

Acuity Brands, Inc provides lighting and building management solutions and services for commercial, institutional, industrial, infrastructure, and residential applications in North America and internationally. The company offers lighting and control products and solutions, including recessed, surface, and suspended lighting; down, decorative, emergency and exit, track, day, special-use, street and roadway, parking garage, underwater, area pedestrian, flood, decorative site, and landscape lighting; occupancy sensors; photo controls; relay panels; architectural dimming panels; and integrated lighting controls systems.

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